At the beginning of October, several Portage Beaconsfield residents and staff members joined a group of volunteers to help revitalise a park in a low-income neighbourhood. This grassroots community project to give the children of Little Burgundy a safe and stimulating playground inspired donations and overwhelming community support.
“I did not expect to see this many people show up!” said David, a resident at Portage’s drug rehabilitation centre in Beaconsfield. Working alongside the other volunteers, he and his peers from Portage were very motivated and efficient throughout the day, helping to assemble the new equipment and decorate the play area.
Lainey, another resident, felt very “accomplished, proud, motivated, and happy,” to be a part of the project, as did Veronica: “Helping to build that park was a lot of fun and seeing women and men of all ages help as well was really nice. It made me feel really good too because I pretty much helped build something kids are going to enjoy and if I ever go back there someday I’ll be able to say ‘I was part of this’ and just that proud feeling will make me feel really good about myself.”
While in drug rehabilitation therapy at Portage, residents learn social competencies to help them better deal with everyday situations, without having to resort to drug use. During this activity, participants were able to practice some of these competencies, such as taking initiative, encouraging others, accepting to be supervised, as well as team work and social integration abilities.